PC vs Mac: Which is Safer and How to Stay Safe from ThreatsVanessa Venugopal
Apple’s Mac computer is known to be Microsoft Windows’ biggest competitor when it comes to operating systems. Both have powerful software and hardware ecosystems that provide users with excellent qualities. However, Windows is still in the lead with about 76.56% market shares compared to Mac with 17.1% from 2019 to 2020.
Even though Windows ranks the top of the most purchased operating system in the market, people use Mac as they believed it to be more secure. Apple’s operating system has garnered the reputation of being more secure than any other OS. In the previous years, they have even pointed out once that Mac “doesn’t get PC viruses.”
So, is it true that when it comes to security Mac is better than PC? Let us find out if Mac is more secure than PC and how you can protect your desktop or laptop.
Are Macs safer than PCs?
As mentioned earlier, Windows has the largest share on the market. So, there is no wonder why most cybercriminals focus on targeting Windows users. It’s not that Windows is not secure. It becomes popularity game as the reason why it is often targeted than Mac.
However, as people are often using Mac desktop for personal and business use, hackers are shifting to target such. Hence, Macs are now becoming vulnerable to threats.
The rising popularity of Apple’s products has increased the overall prevalence of threats. It has surpassed the 2018 record by more than 400 percent. Mac has more threats detected than Windows.
Mac users have experienced threats like the Flashfake botnet, Koobface worm, and Mac Defender malware. In addition, users also face a yearly risk of phishing scams and spams.
So, whether you choose Mac or PC as your OS, both are prone to targets of cybercriminals.
PC vs. Mac Security System
Both operating systems bring promising security to their users, from its safe browser to built-in security updates.
Mac’s native internet browser Safari accounts for 19.81% of the global market share. Mac users who continuously use Safari as their browser gets powerful features such as blocking ads, unwanted popups, and trackers. But not all who own a macOS uses Safari. Most users prefer Google Chrome (63.21%) because it is faster and better.
When it comes to updates, macOS users don’t receive them frequently since macOS experienced few attacks. However, the lack of proactive security or security updates place users of macOS at risk because proactive protection is better than removing the threat once it’s in the system.
PCs are more vulnerable to attacks, not because of its weak security system, but because of its popularity in the global market. Since many hackers target Windows’ OS, users must always add an extra layer of protection to keep their devices safe.
Windows’ native browser, Microsoft Edge, often gets updates for security patches, but most users don’t utilize it, unlike its competitor Safari. Users opt for Chrome as their third-party internet browser. Although Chrome is secure as other browsers, Windows users need to include a security application.
For updates and patching security, Windows has mastered the art of it. With frequent experience from malicious attacks, Microsoft made sure to provide users constant updates, which is a vital step to protect a device.
Now that you have seen the difference between PC and Mac and learned that Mac is not as safer from threats as PC. You can decide which operating system you can purchase for your personal or business use.
Often, the safety of a device relies more on the activities of the user than that of the device. With unsafe practices, no matter how sophisticated your device is, you will experience attacks.
Proactive protection is always the best way to keep your devices and data secure. So, whether you are using a PC or Mac, keep in mind these safe practices.
Safe Practices for Your Mac and Windows Devices
Update Applications and Operating System
When updates are available, don’t hesitate or ignore them. Immediately update your software or system to get the latest security. Hackers are always waiting for users who don’t update their operating system or applications and exploit this unpatched security.
Use Known or Encrypted Connection
If you are using your home network that has been secured, you need not have to worry as much about connecting to public Wi-Fi. Public domains are places where cybercriminals wait for their next target and allow them to see your data. So as much as possible, it is best to avoid public connection. But if it’s unavoidable, using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is crucial. VPN acts by encrypting the data that goes in and out of the user. It serves as an encrypted connection tunnel, keeping all the data safe from prying eyes.
Create and Use Strong Passwords
Secure your device’s OS with a strong password since it has access to almost all parts of your device. Using a strong and unique password is advisable. You can use phrases, long passwords, different characters, and capitalization. You can also use password managers to help you generate one and store them safely.
Get a Reliable Antivirus Software
Purchase or use an antivirus software application that provides you with the protection you need and won’t use up most of your operating system’s resources. Get a software application that can perform well. There are lots of antivirus software that are less intrusive but provides powerful features.
Always Read the Terms Before Installing
Before you install a program, know more about it by reading its terms. Some programs in the market include another app or software as part of its package or installation, but you can see if you can choose not to install it together with the program. Or if not, better don’t install the program when you are unsure of its paired application.
Limit Access to Your Computer
Some software will ask your permission to access a part of your computer, such as your webcam, microphone, and more. Before permitting access, make sure that the application you installed needs that particular access or not.
Uninstall or Replace Outdated Software or Hardware
If a software is not receiving any updates anymore, it is time to uninstall it than continue its life. Like not updating your software or system, outdated applications posed a tremendous risk to users. Zero-day threats are common on outdated software or old devices.
Tools You’ll Need to Stay Safe from Threats
Password managers have the reputation of storing and encrypting your passwords and other vital information like credit card numbers. But, it has more use than that! Password managers can help generate strong passwords to help keep your accounts safe. In addition, when you enter a phishing site, password managers won’t autofill your login credentials as it can detect if the site is real or fake.
- Dashlane: Most highly recommended password manager that is compatible with any operating system. It fills your passwords and payments, generate strong passwords, store unlimited passwords, sync to other of your device, and send alerts if breaches occur.
- LastPass: The best free password manager. The free version is almost the same as its paid one. So, most who are seeking a free password manager should opt for LastPass. Get access to your passwords and other personal details on all devices, it allows saving and filling of passwords, generates a strong password, and provides multi-factor authentication.
Most accounts require only a password to access it, which can expose it to threats. Hackers are resourceful, and they use tools that can generate passwords that might match yours. So, instead of relying on a strong password, add an extra layer of protection by opting for a two-factor authentication tool.
Two-factor authentication is an additional layer of protection you’ll have after you input your username and password. There are many ways you can choose to generate a 2FA. You can choose by receiving a code via SMS or email, use biometrics, input a PIN, or generate code with 2FA applications. Other ways to use 2FA is by 2FA apps, answering “secret questions,” or using a small hardware token.
The bread-and-butter of device security. Antivirus applications are vital to adding an extra layer of protection to detect if your device is secure, check vulnerabilities, and block threats. We have mentioned earlier that no matter what operating system you use, it is not safe from threats. Therefore, installing antivirus software can make a huge difference.
- Norton Antivirus: There are plenty of Symantec Norton Antivirus applications that are compatible with various operating systems. In an overview, Norton offers features such as safe online (financial) transactions, identifies threats immediately, real-time detection and updates, firewall, and back-up data. It is also one of the best antivirus software according to Norton antivirus for mac reviews seen online. So, grab a Norton antivirus at the best price online from official stores or retailers.
- Kaspersky Total Security: Get protection on multiple devices like PC, Mac, and mobile devices. Furthermore, it blocks various threats, bank-grade encryption, secure passwords, personal details, and documents, parental control, VPN, and webcam security. Kaspersky is one of the best security solutions for both PC and Mac users. If you own a small business, you can also choose the Kaspersky Small Office version to protect more than five desktops.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
As mentioned earlier, you’ll require a VPN application to secure and encrypt your connection online. There are many VPN brands in the market you can choose from.
Here are a few samples you might want to try:
- NordVPN: It is the most highly recommend VPN. You’ll get impressive features at the best price. Enjoy fast connection, secure internet, no-log policy, uninterrupted streaming, blocks malware, and works on multiple devices.
- ExpressVPN: It is another well-known VPN and often comes up as second best to NordVPN on reviews. It masks IP address, has 160 server locations, anonymous browsing, and works on multiple devices. Meanwhile, its advanced features are VPN split tunneling, creating private DNS, no activity logs, and unlimited bandwidth.
A firewall is a security barrier that filters traffic, blocks unauthorized access and malicious software, and validates if an app or software is safe.
Operating systems come with a built-in firewall. All you need is to activate them to make sure that they are working. Even your antivirus or security software includes firewall security as one of its features.
Mac is no different from PC when it comes to attacks. It experiences fewer threats than that of PC users. Hence, both operating systems require care. Whether you are using Mac or PC, you have to keep your devices safe from threats. Implement tips mentioned in this article, install necessary applications, avoid clicking on unknown links, and so on. A device’s security all depends on the user’s activity and practices. So, make sure to keep safe of your device all the time.